Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews - Consumer Ratings | Carrier makes air conditioners with efficiency ratings from 13 SEER all the way up to 21 SEER. 21 SEER is a very high energy efficiency rating for an air source central air conditioning system. As opposed to geothermal systems. They use R-410A in all models of the air conditioner line. Systems that use R-22 refrigerant are no longer manufactured because R-22 will soon be phased out. Carrier does manufacture air conditioner systems for residential, light commercial, and heavy commercial applications. In the residential line up the super efficient model line up is named Infinity. The next step down being the Performance series. Carriers Performance series is the mid-range line. Then the Comfort series air conditioners are the Carrier economy line. Carrier also offers a builders grade line up. Some features of selected AC’s are:
Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews - Consumer Ratings | Select Features
- Selected Carrier AC models are Energy Star air conditioner rated
- Electronic diagnostic control in selected air conditioners for easier air conditioner troubleshooting
- 2 stage scroll compressor operation for selected Carrier air conditioners
- Low sound ratings for many Carrier AC systems
- Powder coated paint for durable and dependable operation for many years on selected Carrier AC systems
All of Carriers residential line of air conditioners come in the 2 to 5 ton size range. The size of air conditioner you will need will be based on a load calculation for your home. Carrier does have AHRI certifications for all the air conditioners we researched. This means their claims of efficiency are certified by a recognized and respected testing agency. Carrier, like other manufacturers, does produce some proprietary parts. That means you may pay more for the parts if you need air conditioner service and repair. High Performance HVAC always recommends you purchase the extended parts and labor warranty if available. Lastly, most warranties expire in less than 5 to 10 years and do not cover labor.
Carrier Air Conditioner Model Comparison Matrix
|Carrier Air Conditioner Model Comparison|
|Infinity Series (Premium Model)||Performance Series (Mid-Range Model) 24ACB7||Comfort Series (Economy Model)|
|16 SEER and up to 21 SEER Performance||13 SEER AND up to 17 SEER Performance||13 SEER and up to 16 SEER Performance|
|10-Year Unit Replacement Limited Warranty with a 3-Year Labor Limited Warranty||10-Year Unit Replacement Limited Warranty with optional 3-year labor Limited Warranty||10-Year Unit Replacement Limited Warranty with optional 3-year labor Limited Warranty|
|High-efficiency ECM condenser fan motor||Fan motor data not provided. We recommend ECM fan motors for two-stage systems||Single-speed condenser fan motor|
|Variable-speed compressor operation||Two-Stage scroll compressor in select models/single-stage in other Performance series models||Energy-efficient compressor|
|Heavy-gauge galvanized-steel cabinet|
with baked-on, durable powder coat paint and steel louvered coil guard
|Durable sheet metal with powder paint and steel louvered guards||Durable sheet metal with powder paint and wire coil guards|
|Infinity Control with advanced diagnostic||Côr® Wi-Fi® Thermostat||Côr® Wi-Fi® Thermostat|
|58 decibels||72 decibels||72 decibels|
|Greenspeed Intelligence||Not noted||not noted|
|Select sizes meet ENERGY STAR Air Conditioner qualifications||Meets ENERGY STAR Air Conditioner qualifications||N/A|
|High and Low-pressure refrigeration switches||High and Low-pressure refrigeration switches||Refrigeration pressure switches not indicated in documents|
Carrier Contractor Support and Training
For an HVAC manufacturer, Carrier offers a pretty good support network for contractors. That is important to you, the consumer, if something goes wrong with your new air conditioner. Its important to get a qualified contractor for the installation. A contractor that will do the job correctly and follow industry standards and safety codes. Some of this comes from manufacturer led training courses especially for installation of their equipment. This sharpens the skills of the technicians so they off better installation and service skills. Furthermore, Carrier dealers do offer training courses to help contractors have better, more skilled technicians. Lastly, that’s a plus for you, the consumer.
Carrier is competitive with some of the bigger brand names. If compared with the automotive industry they would be in the big three like Ford, Chrysler, and Chevy. They also have some proprietary components to their air conditioner systems. Often, the parts are expensive to replace if something goes wrong.
Carrier Air Conditioner Top SEER
Air Handlers | Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews
If you are purchasing an air conditioner you’ll need an air handler. (Unless you have a gas furnace). Their air handlers are used in light commercial and residential applications ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 ton models. Carrier lists air handlers on their website as fan coil units which is basically another word for air handler. They are usually tip top for information about their products. Much of the information is straight forward about the features they offer and what those features do for the customer. That is good for the consumer as you do not have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure some mysterious feature that some remote marketing team came up with to make their product look spiffy. On the downside Carrier is a premium product and many of the parts for their products are proprietary. Think of Carrier as a Cadillac and expect Cadillac service from the Carrier HVAC Contractor that services the system for you.
Air Handler Features
Selected features of various Carrier air handlers include:
- Advanced diagnostic boards in select Carrier air handlers
- 10-year limited parts warranty in select Carrier air handlers
- Variable speed fans in select Carrier air handlers
- Baked on urethane base coat and polyester top coat for durability in select Carrier air handlers
- Washable filter in select Carrier air handlers
Condensing Units | Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews
Carrier condensing units range from 13 SEER all the way up to 21 SEER for air conditioner condensing units and 13 SEER to 19 SEER for heat pump condensing units. The economical Comfort series offers comfort at an affordable price while the Infinity series offers high efficiency air conditioner condensers and heat pump condensers. Various features of selected Carrier condensing units include:
- Selected Carrier condensing units offer two-stage compressors
- Top model is variable capacity
- Selected Carrier condensers offer advanced diagnostic features
- Condenser units are designed for rugged durability and construction
- Carrier condensing units are designed for quiet operation
- Selected Carrier condensing units are Energy Star rated
Carrier Condensing Units | Professional opinion
Carrier offers some of the highest range of efficiency levels in the industry for standard air source heat pump and air conditioner condensing units. They have solid engineering behind their condensing units that offers great equipment that can be trouble-free over the life of the equipment provided that it is installed properly and maintained properly. One drawback to Carrier, in my opinion, is their parts. Some of the parts in most Carrier HVAC equipment are engineered by Carrier and offers added value to the equipment however these parts are only available from Carrier. Lastly, that can be very expensive if something goes wrong.
As a professional technician who works in the field and has for many years I’ve seen the pain the consumers get when I show them the bill after repairing a Carrier unit. They end getting angry with me when I keep my rates reasonable and show them the cost of the part. Other manufacturers do the same so unless you know then you will pay the price when a problem develops and you have no choice but to purchase the new part from a Carrier Supplier. A good thing about Carrier is that they have standards for their dealers that require them to have a certain amount of training for their technicians. This is good in the regard that you will someone who is knowledgeable about the equipment and can troubleshoot and repair the equipment efficiently if something goes wrong.
Saving Utilities = Saving Energy = Saving Money
The higher the SEER rating of the air conditioner the higher the monthly savings in energy bills. Conversely, the installation costs in initial purchase will be higher. Additionally, repair costs could be higher because the high SEER air conditioner systems are more complex in operation, design, and components.
Air Conditioner Pricing, Efficiency, and Return On Investment Factors
|Pricing Versus Efficiency Return On Investment|
|Efficiency||Pricing Range for Initial Purchase and Subsequent Repairs outside of Warranty||ROI (Return On Investment)|
|19 SEER Plus||$$$$$||5 to 7 years depending on efficiency*|
|15 to 18 SEER||$$$||7 to 10 years depending on efficiency*|
|13 to 14 SEER||$||Over 10 years*|
|*Many factors depend on ROI such as house insulation, personal usage preferences, duct work integrity, and other basic efficiency factors. SEER level efficiency is very important to ROI. The higher the SEER, the quicker the return.|
Warranties for Carrier air conditioners are competitive and match industry standards. The key is to know most HVAC industry warranties are limited parts warranties and do not include labor. To the consumer, this means if a breakdown occurs you will still have to pay for labor. For that reason, we recommend buying an extended warranty that includes labor. Furthermore, especially if you purchasing the higher tier models that have more bells and whistles. Lastly, protecting yourself with the right warranties will save you in the future.
United Technologies - Momma
Carrier is owned by United Technologies which is the same parent corporation of Bryant, Heil, and Tempstar among other brands under the United Technologies umbrella.
For more information on Carrier and their latest models and efficiency ratings visit the Carrier website.
Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews - Consumer Ratings